There will be a chance to see some Sharks stars in action tonight, which should hopefully make up for the oh-so-annoying Super Rugby bye this week. Deon Kayser’s Sharks XV squad will be put through their paces as two separate teams – the Bulls Sharks and the Tiger Sharks – face off against local club opposition.
College Rovers take on the Bull Sharks XV at 5pm today, at Rovers. This will be a young Sharks side, which includes a fair few players that Kayser knows well from last year’s under 19 squad. Danie Mienie and Etienne Oosthuizen add a smattering of Super Rugby experience to the tight five – Mienie at loosehead packs down alongside a pair of youngsters in hooker Jacques Taylor and tighthead Khwezi Mona, while abrasive young Pretoria Boys High lock Dave “Danger” Fisher joins Oosthuizen in the second row. Openside Lungi Mlaba, a Dundee native, played a few times for the Sharks at under 21 level last year, while blindsider Sias Koen (from the Leopards) and number 8 Ayron Schramm (fresh out of school) are new to the Sharks. Schramm, to be fair, did play a few games for the under 19s last year, though, whilst still at Kearsney College.
Duncan Campbell continues his conversion to scrumhalf and is paired with the familiar Jean-Luc du Plessis for this game, while a pair of club wingers in Lex Botha and JP Bezuidenhout have been offered a chance to show what they can do alongside centres Sandile Khubeka and Wion Robberts, who both played for the under 19s last year. Jaco van Tonder is at fullback to add some much-needed experience to the backline selection.
The du Preez twins, Jean-Luc and Daniel, have been included on the bench, as has last year’s under 19 captain, hooker Chris de Beer.
15 Jaco van Tonder, 14 JP Bezuidenhout, 13 Wion Robbertse, 12 Sandile Khubeka, 11 Lex Botha, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Duncan Campbell, 8 Ayron Schramm, 7 Sias Keon, 6 Lungi Mlaba, 5 Etienne Oosthuizen, 4 David Fisher, 3 Khwezi Mona, 2 Jacques Taylor, 1 Danie Mienie
Subs: 16 Chris de Beer, 17 Brandon Landsberg, 18 Daniel du Preez, 19 Barend Potgieter, 20 Jean-Luc du Preez, 21 Lotter Pretorius, 22 Legend Marwana, 23 Sipho Mkize, 24 Arrie Vosloo
Jonsson College Rovers:
15 Jors Dannhauser, 14 Dusty Noble, 13 Kyle Wilkinson, 12 Quentin Crocker, 11 Richard Strydom, 10 Chris Micklewood, 9 Shannon Rick, 8 Cheese Adam, 7 Liam O’Connel, 6 Jean Pretorius, 5 Nikolai Blignaut, 4 Simba Bwana, 3 Sphe Mayaba, 2 Warrick Venter, 1 Matt Jones
Subs: 16 Njabulo Mkhize, 17 Duanne Cortzen, 18 Edlyn Serge, 19 Rhett Cope, 20 Mesuli Mncwango, 21 Kobus Lourens, 22 Matt Phillips, 23 Jarred Chiocchetti, 24 Jason Kankowski
In the other match, Durban Collegians face the Tiger Sharks at 6pm on KP2. There are far more Super Rugby fringe players in this selection, with old man Mox Mxoli joining a tight five that otherwise all played Currie Cup last year; hooker Monde Hadebe, tighthead Wiehahn Herbst and locks Edwin Hewitt and Peet Marais. Tera Mtembu starts at number 8 in a loose trio that also includes former age-group stars in Khaya Majola and Francois Kleinhans.
Stefan Ungerer and Fred Zeilinga will pull the strings at halfback, with Neil Maritz continuing his comeback from injury by partnering big Andre Esterhuizen in midfield. Sizo Maseko and Alcino Isaacs are the wings (both having played in last year’s Vodacom Cup campaign) while Hansie Graaff gets the nod in the number 15 jersey. For this team, Marco Wentzel and Tim Swiel are perhaps the most recognisable names on the bench, while Franco Marais (hooker) has a Currie Cup appearance to his name. Thomas du Toit is also there, as are Dylan Nel, Hanco Venter, Johann Meyer and Keelin Bastew from last year’s under 21 side.
15 Hansie Graaff, 14 Sizo Maseko, 13 Niel Maritz, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Alcino Isaacs, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Stefan Ungerer, 8 Tera Mtembu, 7 Francois Kleinhans, 6 Khaya Majola, 5 Peet Marais, 4 Edwin Hewitt, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Monde Hadebe, 1 Sangoni Mxoli.
Subs: 16 Franco Marais, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Marco Wentzel, 19 Dylan Nel, 20 Hanco Venter, 21 Tim Swiel, 22 Keelin Bastew, 22 Johann Meyer
SA Homeloans Durban Collegians:
15 Tommy Bezuidenhout, 14 Norman Knoetze, 13 Andrew Holland, 12 Steve Crause, 11 Lindani Mdlalose, 10 Calvin Sacks, 9 Dylan Marcus, 8 Gareth Reece-Edwards, 7 Brendon Groenewald, 6 Carl Marx, 5 Witness Mandizha, 4 Tom Brown, 3 Robbie Harris, 2 Royal Mwale, 1 Kurt Schonert
Subs (from): Blake Lourens, Deucullen van der Merwe, TC Khoza, Darren Sheriff, Dougie Warden, Werner Botha, Gary Collins, Quentin Hiepner, Ryno Rust, Etienne Reis, Dylan Aylward, Lithle Mazibuko,Brendon Flanagan, Bruce Curtis, Jared Sichel, Luke Fouche